Monday, 4 November 2013

New I, Frankenstein Poster Released

A few months ago I wrote an article about a rather decent start to the I, Frankenstein marketing campaign. Sadly, it seems that any enthusiasm for the movie seems to have evaporated in recent weeks and the they've churned out this very average poster (see right).

If we base our enthusiasm for this movie on this one-sheet, well... we wouldn't have any. It's not only generic, it quite effectively unravels all of their early good work on this marketing campaign.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Facepalm Movie Marketing

For every great movie poster, there are nine that disappoint, but occasionally one emerges that (unintentionally) stands head and shoulders above the rest... in terms of incompetence.

When this happens, it is common practice for film aficionados to truly fear for the future of the industry. This is even more poignant when considering that these are supposedly ''leading industry professionals'' who designed and approved this image...  none of which seemed to notice the glaring and unforgivable mistake on this poster.

So, here it is...

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Poster Analysis: How I Live Now

How I Live Now was released in the UK on October 4th and this poster (see right) has been doing the rounds for several weeks (at least) prior to that. The film is adapted from the best-selling novel by Meg Rosoff and stars the extremely talented Saoirse Ronan who plays Daisy.

I've mostly seen this image plastered on buses in the Wandsworth area, which I'm sure is purely coincidental and not a slant against us South London folk. More importantly, after the nth time of seeing this poster, I still have virtually no idea what the film is about!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Man of Steel - The $660 Million box-office disappointment?

The hype surrounding Warner Bros' Superman reboot Man of Steel was immense and the expectation can only be described as stratospheric. This was supposed to be the Superman movie that we have all been waiting for... but how many times have you heard that before?

In fairness, this was easily the best Superman adaptation i've seen (yes, I have seen them all!) and definitely my favourite. However, that's like saying that Batman Begins was better than Batman & Robin, it's a no-brainer!

After the disaster that was Superman Returns, it was vital for Man of Steel to knock us for six (so to speak). However, as the hype escalated beyond all control, so too did the box-office expectations with the latter eventually leading to its supposed commercial disappointment.

The following is a brief analysis of Man of Steel's box-office performance on Box-Office Mojo:

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Pacific Rim - A One (Volatile) Market Wonder

It's no secret that I have been considerably critical of the Pacific Rim marketing campaign, having written two articles detailing its inconsistencies and flaws (see here and here). In my opinion, my very critical views were justified after having seen the film.

Pacific Rim is a disjointed action blockbuster that is far too self aware of it's B-Movie status, regardless of the fact that this status is ultimately contradicted by it's huge $190 million+ production budget.

The film's marketing campaign relied far too heavily on the WOW Factor scenario or Giant Monsters vs Giant Robots, which is all well and good, but we've seen it all before. This was a clear indication that the film would ultimately have a limited commercial appeal and certainly not one that could be aimed at all quadrants.

For the most part I was correct, the film has taken an astounding 52 days to cross the $100 million mark in the US. This is disastrous for a summer tent-pole movie with franchise aspirations. The very fact that it has struggled to reach this basic milestone is a strong indication that the movie is a commercial flop. This is also backed up by it's generally disappointing international run, which demonstrated the film's distinct lack of appeal... and then there was China.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Elysium: Proof that concept marketing doesn't work

On Thursday 9th May, I wrote a reaction commentary to an intriguing article found in Variety. The original piece explored the notion that studios are favouring a more concept-driven marketing approach for major summer tent-poles as opposed to campaigns driven primarily by star-power and narrative.

"The idea is to sell a film initially based on a concept", says Par domestic marketing and distrib prexy Megan Colligan.

The article focused on blockbuster hopefuls such as World War Z, The Lone Ranger and Elysium (see right). It claimed that setting an "iconic" tone was the most important aspect of selling these movies.

I disagreed with this notion at the time of the article's publishing but opted to reserve overall judgement until sufficient box-office numbers were available.

Elysium  is the last of this year's summer tent-poles to implement this marketing strategy. It was released in the US on 9th August and is due for release in the UK on 21st August 2013.

Interestingly, the film's marketing campaign has completely transformed in recent months, there is now less focus on concept and more on star power and narrative. Aside from it being a drastic tactical change, it does suggest that recent box-office disappointments have exposed the flaws within the concept marketing strategy.

Luckily for Sony, the film's distributor, there was still time to adapt and refine their campaign, which would allow them an opportunity to exploit the film's assets and hopefully avoid becoming an expensive box-office casualty, like Disney's The Lone Ranger.

This article will seek to explore these flaws and the subsequent risks that accompany such an ambitious yet inconsistent style of movie marketing.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

X-Men: Days Of Future Past - Viral Marketing Campaign Builds Momentum

The viral marketing campaign for Bryan Singer's X-Men Days of Future Past is picking up some serious momentum with the recent launch of the excellent Trask Industries website.

The fictional company site delves into the history and mythology of Trask Industries and its creator Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage - TV's Game of Thrones). The site also explores the creation of the Sentinels from Mark I to X.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Event Summary: Sunrise 2013 Online Film Festival Awards Ceremony

On 18th July 2013, M.P.C. Marketing Consultancy and The London Horror Society attended the 5th annual Sunrise 2013 Online Film Festival Awards Ceremony. The event was run by Ditto, and took place at their Lighthouse studio in London in association with Norwich University of the Arts.

Ditto's Lighthouse studio is extremely well hidden within the thriving Angel area of London, but once found we quickly realised that the search was well worth it.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

'I, Frankenstein' Character Posters Released

Several character posters for Lionsgate's upcoming Action Horror, I, Frankenstein, have been released online. The film stars Aaron Eckhart as Frankenstein's Monster A.K.A Adam Frankenstein, and is produced by the team behind the Underworld Series.

I, Frankenstein is based on the cult graphic novel of the same name and follows Adam who unintentionally becomes embroiled in a brutal war between two immortal clans.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Event Preview: Sunrise 2013 Online Film Festival Awards Ceremony

M.P.C. Marketing Consultancy is privileged to have been invited to attend the 5th annual Sunrise 2013 Online Film Festival Awards Ceremony. The event is run by Ditto, and will take place on 18th July 2013 at their Lighthouse studio in London in association with Norwich University of the Arts.

The event will "welcome Elliot Grove, founder and director of Raindance Film Festival, and Arnfinn Moseng from the BAFTA winning animation studio Blue Zoo, as our guest speakers, sharing their insights and inspiration with all present. The night will culminate with the announcing of the winners and the presentation of their amazing prizes, including internships at Blue Zoo animation studios and Mustard TV, Raindance film-making courses, and a tour of the Stanley Kubrick Archive."

Sunrise champions the latest independent filmmakers and animators and aims to help the emerging talent achieve their first break within the industry.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Riddick - New International Poster Released!

A new international poster has been released for Vin Diesel's upcoming sci-fi movie, Riddick. The film is the third instalment in the cult Pitch Black franchise and marks Diesel's first outing as the titular anti-hero - Riddick - for almost a decade.

While Pitch Black was generally well received, it was a cult success at best, though it did spawn a sequel called The Chronicles of Riddick, which received awful reviews and bombed theatrically.

The franchise has always had immense potential, but realising such potential is not always possible, hence Riddick's near decade absence from our screens.

Which brings us to Riddick, many hope that this film will rejuvenate a franchise that never really got going by capitalising on Vin Diesel's superstar status.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Honest Movie Posters - Top 10 (Part 2)

It's been a busy week, so while I work on some slightly more detailed posts, I've decided to compile another Top 10 Honest Movie Posters list. Basically, there are so many gems here that it would be a travesty if I didn't share them with you.

So, sit back (or lean forward) and enjoy...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Honest Movie Posters - Top 10

We all love a good movie poster but they usually lie and do their very best to sell an awful premise to unsuspecting cinema-goers by glossing over key points. What if movie posters told the truth? Well, a lot less movie tickets would be sold, movie stardom would be non-existent and we'd probably all be successful sports stars and Billionaires.

Here's my Top 10 ''Honest'' Movie Posters:

(Try and guess their real titles)

Monday, 17 June 2013


Sightseers was a much-hyped dark British comedy about a couple who go on a perverse killing-spree across the British countryside. The film was sadly ignored by the majority of UK cinema-goers and sadly disappeared with a whimper from cinemas.

It would be easy to blame its poor performance on its status as a "cult" indie movie, but that would be disrespectful. The film opened to an underwhelming £213,000 from 92 locations at the UK box-office, and struggled to build any momentum in its second weekend, falling 52% despite adding 25 theatres.

However, regardless of the fact that there was a very limited interest in the movie, it does not mean that audiences rejected the film outright. It is very probable that many were simply unaware of the film or unsure of its satirical premise.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Pacific Rim: Big-Budget Action Movie or Emotional Romantic Drama?

A recent article from Variety has raised some interesting points regarding the ever evolving marketing strategy for Pacific Rim.

The piece, written by David S. Cohen, explores Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. hope that the big-budget sci-fi movie will become a global blockbuster and subsequently, one of the biggest films of the year.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Worst Movie Posters of 2013 (so far) - Top 10

Following on from my Top 10 Best movie posters of the year (so far), here's my list of the Top 10 Worst.

All of the movies in this list have been released theatrically and all represent what's wrong with movie marketing. From the incomprehensible to the confusing to the downright bland, this list has it all and it's a wonder how any of them gained approval.

See if you agree:

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Best Movie Posters of 2013 (so far) - Top 10

June is creeping closer and the summer blockbuster season is now in full flow. Therefore, it seems appropriate to take a look back at some of the great (and not so great) films we've seen this year and highlight my picks for the best movie posters of 2013... so far.

All of the films in this list have had a theatrical release in the last 5 months and all boast truly fantastic posters!

See if you agree with my Top 10:  

Friday, 24 May 2013


Priest arrived in US cinemas on 13th May 2011 and opened to a three-day gross of $14.95 million on it's way to an appalling $29.1 million, which was less than half of its reported $60 million budget. The film didn't fare much better internationally, grossing just $49.1 million, which meant that the movie vanished with barely a whimper.

The film received a terrible critical response and judging by this poster, it's not difficult to understand why.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Alternative Marketing Campaign

A few days ago I wrote an article critically analysing the latest poster (see right) for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The theatrical marketing campaign for this big-budget Christmas blockbuster has so far been underwhelming. More so when considering that this is supposed to be one of the most anticipated movies of the year, not an arthouse movie.

Catching Fire is the sequel to the popular 2012 movie The Hunger Games and based on the second book in Suzanne Collins' book trilogy of the same name. It is, beyond anything else, an event movie made for mainstream audiences but the current marketing strategy consists of well designed posters that are ultimately very bland.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - New Poster Released

Lionsgate have released a new poster for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (see right), and although it's very visually pleasing, I have mixed feelings about it.

The poster depicts the series' heroine, Katniss Everdeen, gazing out on a cliff's edge while clutching her trademark bow by her side. The imagery is reminiscent of a vintage painting though it will struggle to attract your attention unless you know to look for it.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Commentary: A Reaction to the shift in Tentpole Movie Marketing in Hollywood

Last week, Variety published a brief article about the state of film marketing in Hollywood. The fascinating piece explored the thought-provoking notion that concept is now bigger than star-power, which indicates a major shift in the necessity of A-List stars fronting big-budget blockbusters.

"The idea is to sell a film initially based on a concept", says Par domestic marketing and distrib prexy Megan Colligan.
Main theatrical poster for Oblivion

Ten years ago it would have been unfathomable for Tom Cruise not to feature in almost the entire marketing campaign for his latest blockbuster; however, times have changed.

Coming off the back of his biggest success to-date (Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol), Cruise's next major release was Oblivion, a big budget sci-fi film from the director of Tron:Legacy. There was immense pressure on Cruise to deliver another major hit and reassert his dominance as an unrivalled global box-office star. However, this was somewhat contradicted by his presence within the marketing campaign being strangely understated.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Silver Samurai poster debuts

Character poster for the Silver Samurai
Fox have debuted a Silver Samurai character poster in preparation for the forthcoming sequel The Wolverine. Last month, I wrote an article  that analysed the film's marketing campaign and questioned the decision to focus entirely on the titular character (played by Hugh Jackman).

Well, it seems that the marketing team have finally started to bring some much-needed focus towards the sequel's other pivotal characters.

The very stylish image (seen right) is an ink-design interpretation of Wolverine's iconic adversary, and one of the film's primary antagonists, though you'd be forgiven for not realising it.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

New Man of Steel poster released

A new theatrical poster for Man of Steel has been released as Warner Bros. begin their final major marketing push before the reboot's high profile 14th June 2013 opening.

This one is fairly generic, depicting Superman flying at a speed beyond all comprehension, but sadly not much else.

The most intriguing aspect of this poster is the motion contrast between Superman and the city below. The blurring and sun-glare compliment the bright colour-scheme and really emphasise the immense power of the Man of Steel. However, the image is simply too visually jarring to be effective.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Dredd 3D

In September 2012 Dredd 3D hit cinemas hoping to work some reboot magic on a stagnant movie franchise. The first attempt at an adaptation, Judge Dredd, was released in 1995 and starred Sylvester Stallone, it was a box-office disaster and swiftly faded into obscurity. When the reboot was announced, it was generally met with scepticism due to the unwanted association with its predecessor and consequently, expectations were modest at best.

The resulting movie, Dredd 3D, was (in my opinion) one of the best and most underrated films of the year! It knew exactly what it needed to be and delivered, it was great fun with effective violence and minimal gore. It was a comic-book adaptation with heart and yet it will go down as one of the biggest box-office disappointments of the year! 

But why?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


In 2010 the little-known vampire film, Daybreakers, hit screens across the globe... and swiftly vanished with barely a whimper.

The film starred Ethan Hawke (Training Day), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) but sadly failed to establish a firm footing at the box-office and closed with slightly over $50 million worldwide.

While the gross wasn't a disaster, it was very far from impressive for a film that could (and perhaps should) have been a big hit. It was actually a very stylish and enjoyable film, so why was it ignored by the legions of vampire movie fans out there?

Monday, 29 April 2013

Pacific Rim - New poster released

A new theatrical poster has been unveiled for visionary director, Guillermo del Toro's (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) latest movie, Pacific Rim.

The poster for this big-budget sci-fi flick is quite visually stunning and depicts a giant robot seemingly terrorising a busy city street. The image is chaotic and evidently extremely reliant on the aesthetic impact of CGI, which will impress some and bore others. The image is bleak and full of menace, which indicates that humanity has no chance against such an unstoppable foe.

The cars appear to all be abandoned and a devastating explosion looks to be on the verge of engulfing the entire street. This robot is causing mass destruction so it's little wonder that the civilians have abandoned their cars and fled.

But wait... these robots are on our side!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Iron Man 3 (Post-Viewing)

Ok, so I've seen Iron Man 3 and in terms of the poster quality it is damn near spot on as discussed in my previous article. The one-sheet (seen right) is respectful of the movie, offering an insight into the narrative while raising enough questions to warrant an enjoyable cinematic experience.

The strongest aspect of the poster is undoubtedly Tony Stark/Iron Man in the front centre. A prospective cinema-goer will be able to establish the overall theme and tone of the movie through his character positioning and facial expression.

When Stark is coupled with the rich visual aesthetics of the background, it is evident that an initial interpretation of the poster will be generally accurate, though not entirely.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Iron Man 3 (Pre-Viewing)

Good ol' fashioned revenge!
The marketing campaign for Iron Man 3 has been exemplary, which is a sure sign of the threequel's potential to exceed all expectations (aside from The Avengers connection of course).

The theatrical posters have been informative, exciting and each has had a clear focus on a different aspect of the film.

On the right is my pick of the posters and here is why...

The image shows Tony Stark/Iron Man floating on a piece of debris from his recently destroyed mansion (visible in the background). Stark is only partly suited up but he has a serious look of intent.

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Wolverine

The marketing campaign for The Wolverine has finally gained some momentum and so it seems only right to analyse the primary theatrical posters for the movie.

The Wolverine is the (sort-of) follow-up to the 2009 disappointment X-Men Origins: Wolverine and follows Logan to Japan where he attempts to master his demons and train with the Samurai. The film is actually set after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, and for the first time, we apparently see a more vulnerable side to Wolverine/Logan.

The film's marketing campaign has so far proved to be somewhat inconsistent, with some promotional images focusing on the character's disciplined new approach, and others being more frantic. Many of the pics simply showed him standing around, dressed in black, which is all well and good, but it all seems a bit bland.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Trance (Post-Viewing)

Disclaimer - This article was written after seeing the movie, Trance, and is in reaction to my previous poster analysis article for the film. I have done my very best to avoid spoilers but i cannot guarantee that there aren't any.

Ok, so yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing Danny Boyle's latest movie, Trance, and although I felt that the film was slightly too self-indulgent at times, I generally enjoyed it. However, it does give itself far too much credit for trying to deceive the audience, which then requires the audience to suspend all logic and disbelief.

One aspect that is truly commendable though, is the movie poster. A few days ago I wrote an article that critically analysed the poster (seen on the right), attempting to determine potential character traits and basic plot developments using only the image provided.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

World War Z

The problems surrounding the entire production of World War Z have been very well documented over the last year. The expensive adaptation of Max Brooks' best-selling novel has been hampered by lengthy re-writes, on-set feuds, re-shoots and a reported budget in excess of $400 million. All of which have contributed to audience expectations becoming virtually non-existent.

It also appears as though the marketing campaign for the movie is just as muddled, which is evident from the two one-sheets currently doing the rounds:

The first one is arguably the main theatrical poster and focuses on the film's leading man, Brad Pitt, as he surveys the apocalyptic carnage from the safety of a helicopter.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Trance (Pre-viewing)

Disclaimer - At the time of writing this article I have not seen Trance, therefore this analysis will be written with only a basic knowledge of the premise. Once I have seen the movie, I will write a further article that will critique the overall effectiveness of the poster.

UK Theatrical Poster
Trance is the latest movie from Oscar-winning director, Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later) and stars James McAvoy as Simon, a fine-art auctioneer who becomes embroiled with Frank (Vincent Cassell) in an elaborate plot to steal a valued Goya painting. When Simon betrays Frank, he is knocked unconscious and consequently suffers from amnesia, which prevents him from revealing the location of the painting. Frank ultimately turns to hypnotherapist, Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) in a desperate attempt to unlock the whereabouts of the painting, but all may not be as it seems.

Here is the UK theatrical poster, and at a first glance it is clearly very rich in substance with a sense of intrigue. The image depicts the film's three main stars (McAvoy, Cassell, and Dawson) in very individual poses that seem to reflect major character personality traits.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

X-Men: First Class (Part 2 of 2)

Following on from Part 1, this article will focus on two further sets of posters from the X-Men: First Class marketing campaign. Both focus on Professor X and Magneto with the first set taking a slightly more ambiguous silhouetted approach, while the second set is slightly more conventional.


These posters focus on the link between past and present in terms of Professor X and Magneto. In doing so, they highlight to the film's prospective audience which of the actors from the main poster (discussed in Part 1) will be portraying the two iconic mutants.

The posters are largely minimalist, opting for a simple style of black silhouette, representing the older versions of both characters from the original trilogy, on a white background. To make the link between old and new, floating heads of a young Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) have been superimposed onto the silhouettes of the respective characters. This is all well and good... but what about all of the other characters?

Monday, 8 April 2013

X-Men: First Class (Part 1 of 2)

Disclaimer – This article will be split into two parts and will focus on several movie posters into order to provide a detailed analysis…

X-Men: First Class was the sort-of franchise reboot that many hoped would re-ignite the flailing movie franchise. It introduced new characters, and younger versions of iconic characters such as Professor X, Magneto and Beast. However, the purpose of a reboot is generally to reintroduce an entirely new audience to the characters, but when the characters are unfamiliar or, in the case of the iconic ones, look completely different, the marketing strategy must always start from scratch to achieve this.

In the case of this movie poster… Who exactly are these people?

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Man of Steel

Ok, so this poster has been in circulation for a while now and after seeing the trailers, we know that this image will be at least be semi-relevant to the film, Man of Steel. However, I can't help but feel that it's an unusual choice to kick-start a major marketing campaign, especially for a film that focuses on one of the most iconic superheroes of all time, Superman.

Opinion has been well and truly divided with regard to this poster and rightly so… Superman is in handcuffs! Who wants to see that right?

At a first glance the imagery seems to show nothing positive in terms of character or story, and there's nothing to get overly excited about if Superman is unable to use his abilities whatsover, which raises obvious questions:

- Why doesn’t Superman just break free?
- Why is he in custody?
- Are they kryptonite handcuffs?
- Is he a vigilante?
- Are the humans afraid of him?